Sunday, July 1, 2007
Banjul (formerly Bathurst) is the capital of The Gambia. The population of the city proper is only 34,828 but the total urban area is many times larger with a population of 523,589 (2003 census). It is located on St Mary's Island (or Banjul Island) where the Gambia River enters the Atlantic Ocean. The island is connected to the mainland by passenger and vehicle ferries to the north and bridges to the south. Banjul is located at 13°28' North, 16°36' West (13.4667, -16.60).


In 1816, the British founded Banjul as a trading post and base for suppressing the slave trade. It was first named Bathurst after Henry Bathurst, the secretary of the British Colonial Office, but was changed to Banjul in 1973.
On July 22, 1994, Banjul was the scene of a bloodless military coup d'etat in which President Dawda Jawara was overthrown and replaced by the country's current (and twice reelected) President Yahya Jammeh. To commemorate this event, Arch 22 was built as an entrance portal to the capital. The gate is 35 meters tall and the centre of an open square. It houses a textile museum.
Attractions in the city include the Gambian National Museum, the Albert Market, Banjul State House, Banjul Court House, two cathedrals and several major mosques.


Banjul is the main urban area of The Gambia and holds the country's economic and administrative center including the Central Bank of The Gambia. As the fourth most densely populated country in Africa, The Gambia has more than one urban area. Peanut processing is the country's principal industry, but bee's wax, palm wood, palm oil, and skins and hides are also shipped from its port.
Source: Wikipedia